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Magnetic Levitation Train

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Uploaded on Jun 8, 2006

Explanation: this is a museum model to demo how a magnetic levitation train works. It takes advantage of four design elements:
(1) an inhomogeneous magnetic field that repels a diamagnetic plate so that it floats about 1 mm above the track,
(2) the shape and size of the diamagnetic plate is optimized in a way so that, with the specific permanent magnet in use, the train is guided even at bends along the track without touching the surface,
(3) a linear motor using a sensor coil and two drive coils to move the train model forward,
(4) solar panels which convert solar energy into electrical energy.

The track consists of three rows of neodymium platelets which are aligned in a way so that the two outer rows are inversely polarized to the middle row on which the train model moves. As a diamagnetic material a thin layer of pyrolytic graphite is used. Pyrolytic graphite is a material which is neither ferromagnetic nor paramagnetic so that the repulsive properties of diamagnetism become effective. The linear motor senses the slight disturbances in the magnetic field between the neodymium platelets of the track thanks to the sensor coil. It switches between the two drive coils to that the model train can move along. The little electricity which is needed for the linear motor to operate comes from the solar panels on top of the model train.

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